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Happiness, Money, and Your Heart Andrew Oswald Warwick University

Happiness, Money, and Your Heart Andrew Oswald Warwick University

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Happiness, Money, and Your Heart Andrew Oswald Warwick University

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  1. Happiness, Money, and Your HeartAndrew OswaldWarwick University * I would like to acknowedge that much of this work is joint with coauthors Nick Powdthavee, David G. Blanchflower, and Rainer Winkelmann.

  2. Economics is changing

  3. Economics is changing Researchers are studying mental well-being.

  4. Economics is changing Researchers are studying mental well-being. We are drawing closer to psychology and medicine.

  5. Using random samples from many nations: Researchers try to find what influences the psychological wellbeing of (i) individuals (ii) nations.

  6. Today I would like to ask four questions.

  7. #1

  8. #1 In the 21st century, should our society’s goal be happiness rather than GDP?

  9. #2

  10. #2 What actually happens to a person when they get a lot of money (say by winning the lottery)?

  11. #2 What actually happens to a person when they get a lot of money (say by winning the lottery)?

  12. #3

  13. #3 Could physiological measures, like heart rate and blood pressure, be used as proxies for well-being?

  14. #3 Could physiological measures, like heart rate and blood pressure, be used as proxies for well-being?

  15. #4

  16. #4 How should we think about the causes of the current financial crisis?

  17. A fundamental question:

  18. Is modern society going in a good direction?

  19. Is modern society going in a good direction? Are we getting happier?

  20. Possibly not…..

  21. The Easterlin Paradox

  22. Average Happiness and Real GDP per Capita for Repeated Cross-sections of Americans.

  23. Life-Satisfaction Levels in European Nations

  24. So, could we learn how …

  25. ..to make whole countries happier?

  26. Preferably not like this…

  27. Italy 6 England 0

  28. What kind of data do we use in research on well-being?

  29. The types of sources British Household Panel Study (BHPS) German Socioeconomic Panel Australian HILDA Panel General Social Survey of the USA Eurobarometer Surveys Labour Force Survey from the UK World Values Surveys NCDS 1958 cohort

  30. Various statistical methods

  31. Some cheery news:

  32. Some cheery news: In Western nations, most people seem happy with their lives

  33. Some cheery news: In Western nations, most people seem happy with their lives

  34. The distribution of life-satisfaction levels among British people Source: BHPS, 1997-2003. N = 74,481

  35. But obviously life is a mixture of ups and downs

  36. Statistically, wellbeing in panels is strongly correlated with life events ..good and bad.

  37. Big effects Unemployment Divorce Marriage Bereavement Friendship networks Health [No effects from children]

  38. Much of the new research follows people through time. eg. Andrew Clark’s work

  39. The unhappiness from bereavement

  40. So people adapt

  41. So people adapt But that has a downside….

  42. The happiness from marriage

  43. And should you invest in a baby?

  44. Happiness and children

  45. An important question in a modern society is the impact of divorce.

  46. Divorce eventually makes people happier

  47. Divorce eventually makes people happier

  48. Other findings

  49. Happiness is also U-shaped over the life course